Effective Indian Home Remedies for Cough in Younger Kids and Toddlers

A child's cough disrupts sleep and routines, but Indian home remedies like mustard oil massage, ginger tea, and turmeric milk ease symptoms. Ingredients like garlic, tulsi, and black pepper mixed with honey are effective.

Harleen Kaur
Nov 15, 2023 16:44 IST
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Effective Indian Home Remedies for Cough in Younger Kids and Toddlers

Effective Indian Home Remedies for Cough in Younger Kids and Toddlers

Cough in toddlers can persist and disturb their daily routine if not managed properly. Most cough symptoms worsen at night, disrupting their sleep.


Fortunately, simple Indian home remedies can reduce the discomfort, and irritation in throats and shorten the duration of cough and cold infections.

Nighttime Remedies:

Lying down or sleeping, particularly at night can cause coughing in the toddler, and can severely disrupt the toddler’s sleep cycle. However, with a few simple home remedies, the problem can be reduced

  • Let the child's headrest be in an elevated position: It allows for better breathing and less obstruction.
  • Use a mist humidifier: The water vapour in the air will help the child sleep comfortably, with less cough irritating the airway.
  • Use Saline drops: Over-the-counter saline drips, specifically made for young children, can be used to thin the mucus in the nose and can be extracted with a cotton cloth. This practice can be allowed only once a day, before sleep, as repetition can cause dryness in the nasal passage.
  • Use a bulb syringe: If the kid has not yet become better at blowing their nose. use a bulb syringe to remove mucus from nostrils to improve airways during the night.
  • Use a chest rub: A simple massage or rub with ointments such as the Vicks Baby Rub can make the child feel comfortable while sleeping
  • Use nasal decongestant: Ask your paediatrician for the decongestant drops or spray for the child. My doctor recommended me Nasivion. But it is recommended to consult with a doctor before you give it to your child and know its dosages.

Traditional Indian Remedies:

  • Mustard Oil Massage: Heat mustard oil with garlic and ajwain powder. Filter it and massage the toddler's chest and back for relief. Never use it on a baby less than 6 months old. 
Garlic and ajwain in ghee
Mustard oil+Ajwain+garlic for baby massage Credits//Happywomanhood
  • Ginger Tea: After boiling ginger in water, add lemon juice, and honey, and serve it warm to children aged 2 and above. Ginger can help loosen the mucus and is a highly effective remedy.
  • Garlic Water: Boil a clove of garlic in water, strain, and serve it warm to children above 1 year only. Mix garlic with soups for children aged 8 months and older.  Honey garlic makes great cough syrup at home.

Honey Garlic Cough Syrup | Janine Buisman Wilcox Naturopathic Doctor

  • Turmeric Milk: Boil turmeric powder in milk and serve it warm to toddlers. Turmeric is a more effective and powerful Indian remedy for coughs for all ages. Either add jaggery, cinnamon or honey for sweetness.

Turmeric Milk for Coughs and Colds - Ascension Kitchen

  • Tulsi Infusion: Boil tulsi leaves, peppercorns, cumin seeds, ajwain, and palm sugar in water. Serve it warm to boost immunity. You can add this infused water to milk to alleviate the baby's cough.
  • Jaggery and Pepper Paste: Mixing a teaspoon of crushed black pepper with a small piece of jaggery (gur) can be given to older children to alleviate cough. This remedy helps in clearing throat irritation.
  • Honey and Tulsi (Holy Basil) Syrup: Tulsi has antimicrobial properties and mixing tulsi leaves with honey can create a soothing syrup. For children above one year, giving a teaspoon of this mixture a few times a day can help ease cough and throat irritation.

Natural Cough Remedies - Avail Hospital Lake Charles % : Avail Hospital  Lake Charles

  • Ajwain Potli: Roast ajwain seeds and tie them in a cloth to make a potli. Gently press it on the baby's chest to relieve congestion. For toddlers and young kids, tell them to inhale it for 30 seconds. It can be used on infants as well. 

Ajwain Potli for Babies and Kids - Sharmis Passions

  • Warm Bath: A warm bath relaxes muscles and eases discomfort caused by cold and cough. Adding eucalyptus oil to bathwater helps relieve congestion. When your baby or child is having mucus, give them a warm bath, and never skip a bath. For babies who can not take steam, a warm bath works well.

Baby Bath Temperature: What's the Ideal? Plus, More Bathing Tips

  • Home-made lozenges: Melt sugar, then add a ghee(clarified butter) pinch of ginger powder and make homemade lozenges for your child's cough.

Homemade cough lozenges recipe | Australia's Best Recipes

  • Cinnamon: This aids in the fight against the common cold virus. Additionally, it possesses anti-inflammatory qualities that might help soothe sore throats. One-quarter tablespoon of cinnamon along with one tablespoon of honey or you can add cinnamon in oatmeal for the baby can be quite effective in reducing the cough.

Home Remedies: Can Cinnamon and Honey Cure a Cold?

  • Hydration and Rest: Ensure the child gets plenty of rest and stays hydrated by offering fluids like warm water, herbal teas, or clear soups throughout the day. Hydration is essential for faster recovery.

When to visit the doctor? 

a) Baby is not nursing or drinking enough fluids

b) Baby is crying uncontrollably, despite all your attempts at soothing

c) Toddler is having difficulty breathing or is wheezing

d) Toddler is choking or unable to swallow

e) The cold or cough lasts for weeks

f)  Baby or toddler has acute ear pain

These natural Indian remedies can effectively support the toddler's immune system and provide relief. However, in critical situations or prolonged illnesses, consult a doctor for proper guidance and treatment. 


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